Last weekend I led a small group up the lovely wee hill above Glenmore, Meall a Bhuachaille.
I really enjoy this walk as it takes you through a variety of habitats and gives superb views of the Cairngorm mountains from the summit.
I usually choose to ascend this from Glenmore and descend to Ryvoan bothy, with a walk out along the Ryvoan Pass. The first part of the ascent leads up beside a small wooded burn and past spurce plantations. The Forestry Commission are gradually removing the non-native spruce trees and replanting with native Scots Pine, birch and willow.
Looking north from the summit gives views to Loch Gartan and Boat of Garten.
Coming down the SE flank it’s always nice to get the first glimpse of Ryvoan Bothy.
The one roomed Ryvoan Bothy was originally a croft dating from the 18th.century, and abandoned in 1877. It was the birthplace of a well known local character, Grigar Ruighe Bhothan, famed for both his physical strength and his capacity for the locally made strong liquor! It is said that the Creag Dhu club carried out some temporary repairs to prevent it from falling into complete disrepair until it was taken over by the Mountain Bothies Association in 1972.
We followed the level track in Ryvoan pass, passing An Lochan Uaine on the way.
It is said that the fairies wash their clothes here, hence the green colour, but the young members of the walking party were more interested in the leeches present in the lochan.
Our trek back was further ‘shortened’ looking for green tiger beetles. We saw four, much to the delight of one wee guy. These run very fast so I didn’t manage to get a photo!
(The photos above are from several ascents over the course of last summer)